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Joe Peters first laid eyes on Kate Arends at a work-related event and started asking around about the beautiful brunette he had seen. “In the smallest big city in America, I found someone who knew Kate’s e-mail address and gained approval to e-mail her,” Joe says. They decided to officially meet one evening over tea. Afterward, things moved quickly.
After dating for seven months, Kate, the author of lifestyle blog Wit & Delight and an expert in branding and go-to market strategies for consumers, moved in with Joe, the manager of a sales and marketing collaboration for Vasque footwear. The two were engaged the next day. Two months later, on November 2, 2013, they held a small wedding in Minneapolis, Minnesota, not far from their home in St. Paul.
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Kate wore a strapless couture gown with an asymmetrical neckline by Peter Langner. Seeing Kate in her wedding gown for the first time was Joe’s most memorable part of the day.
Joe donned a navy Ludlow suit by J.Crew and a gray Pierrepont Hicks tie. Inside his suit pocket was a handkerchief made by the mother of one of his groomsmen that had the words “Joe & Kate” written on it.
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“I loved how modern the dress was,” Kate says. “It still had that ‘wow’ factor without tulle and sparkle. I felt sophisticated, grown-up, and kind of like Sophia Loren while wearing it.”
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On the first morning after the couple moved in together, Joe went out for bagels and returned with something much more special. With Kate’s great grandmother’s engagement ring in hand (the actual wedding ring was being made at the time), he proposed on the spot. “I wanted our first place together to have the best energy possible, so I thought that proposing to Kate in the little place that we’d live for the next 12 months would be a nice way to achieve that,” Joe says.
Kate was surprised a second time when Joe picked out her wedding ring all on his own—a bold move considering she didn’t want anything traditional. Encircled with diamonds set on a double-banded harness, the marquis ring by Anna Sheffield was something completely unique. “He knocked it out of the park,” Kate says.
To complement the simple design of her gown, Kate wore a pair of sparkly studded earrings by Ann Taylor.
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The Bridal Bouquet
Munster Rose created Kate’s bouquet of ranunculus, garden roses, Sahara roses, dahlias, astrantia, and clematis.
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Ranunculus buds and rose hips were wrapped with velvet ribbon before adorning the guys’ lapels.
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Kate’s sister and best friend were her attendees, each donning short black dresses paired with black strappy heels and carrying smaller versions of the bridal bouquet.
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Sporting suits of different shades of blue and matching Pierrepont Hicks ties, the groomsmen consisted of Joe’s best friends—Nate, whom the groom has known since he was five years old, and his college buddy, Andy.
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The Matching Shoes
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The First Look
The bride and groom first set eyes on each other in the bride’s favorite room, which has walls covered with vibrant hand-knitted afghans.
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Portraits in the Park
The changing leaves of fall surrounded the couple as they posed for portraits in nearby Mississippi River Park.
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Family photos were taken in the venue’s library and living room.
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The celebration took place at The Bachelor Farmer, a restaurant located in a historic brick-and-timber warehouse in the North Loop of Minneapolis. Choosing a theme for the wedding was not the couple’s top priority; they simply wanted a venue that had a lot of character and allowed for intimacy. “It was a low-key, no-fuss wedding,” says Kate, who wanted to keep the focus on creating small, special moments. “We identified things that were important to us and executed against a list that stressed simplicity in the process.” Food was also a major factor for the couple, and the restaurant satisfied that with copious amounts of tasty fare.
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The Wedding Flowers
“I told Jackie Reisenauer from Munster Rose that she could do whatever she wanted in the space,” Kate says of the detailed décor. “The result was lovely.”
Set atop a wooden block, a pair of arrangements made from dahlias, Dutch hydrangea, garden roses, and bay leaf dressed up the ceremony room.
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The Ceremony Spot
About 65 close friends and family members assembled to watch the couple join in marriage in their location’s rec room. “I think what made our wedding special was that everyone who was there felt like they got a better understanding of who we are when we’re together,” Kate says.
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The Ceremony Program
The bride’s parents walked Kate down the aisle to the song “Holocene” by Bon Iver. The DIY altar was layered with long strips of pink and ivory fabric. The couple read their vows, a moment that was the most memorable part of the day for Kate. “We sobbed our way through the entire ceremony,” Joe says. A close friend officiated the wedding, and the newlywed couple walked up the aisle to the same song that played upon entry.
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Following the ceremony, another 180 guests arrived to celebrate at the cocktail party. The fireplace was roaring, servers were circulating with small bites to eat, and everyone gathered around the newlyweds while they gave their toasts. Then the doors to the Afghan Room were opened, and everyone chowed down on big platters of amazing food.
“My sister said that even with all my accomplishments, opening up my heart to Joe is what she’s most proud of,” Kate says of the speech her sister gave.
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Food and Drink
Open cocktails and appetizers were served, while a buffet-style dinner was set up. Marvel Bar designed signature cocktails for the couple. Kate’s was gin-based while Joe’s was whiskey-based.
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Small vases on the buffet table held Dutch hydrangea, clematis, astrantia, dahlias, and ranunculus.
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With music that was a mash-up of old-school classics and modern beats, there was never a dull moment during dance hour. “Kohlman, our DJ, spun Frank Sinatra into Zedd at one point and almost brought the house down,” Kate jokes. “All in attendance danced like it was 1999.”